Pat Shingleton: "Stastic and The Big State..."
Static charges occur more often in cold, dry weather. You may have noticed an increase in friction while getting in and out of your car, resulting in the classic snaps and cracks of static electricity. Motorists in colder parts of the country routinely set the pump handle and are tempted to get back into their car for a quick warm-up while waiting for the fill-up at the self-serve island. A couple of minutes of warmth could cause an explosion, ignited by static electricity when clothing or hair sparks gasoline vapors causing the flash fire. Regardless of the time of year, motorists should "ground" themselves by touching something metal after exiting their car before they touch the pump. Another item...Alaska holds the distinction of being the largest state in area; almost twice the size of Texas. It is also home to America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet and its glaciers constitute 29,000 square miles. In Barrow, the Sun is below the horizon from November 20 through January 22. According to NOAA, six of the top 25 windiest cities in the United States are in Alaska and St. Paul Island ranks as the second-windiest location behind Mt. Washington, N.H. Weather extremes in Alaska include the lowest temperature at -80 degrees at Prospect Creek Camp and the highest at 100 degrees at Fort Yukon. The highest one day snowfall occurred in Thompson Pass with 62 inches on December 29, 1955.
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